Event Wi-Fi Does Not Have to Be A Hail Mary Pass

The Boston Globe reports that the NFL has had a few struggles lately with the new tablets and WIFI used by coaches during games. Click here to read the full article.

Although many of the factors discussed in the article are true, there are solutions to overcome these problems.  “In the infancy of TOURtech, we struggled with some of these same issues providing concerts and tour groups with virtual offices and WIFI connectivity,” says Allen Cook, TOURtech CEO.  “Our knowledge, technicians and technology have come a long way since then.”

The proof that issues like separating frequencies, ample private network bandwidth and addressing liquid distortion can be overcome is in the success of festivals like Lollapalooza, Electric Zoo, Mysteryland and Made In America, to name just a few. At these venues, private network WIFI was created to handle ticketing and vendor transaction, as well as event operations and production, all incorporating tablets, scanners and other mobile devices. In addition, fan WIFI was bolstered to enhance the event experience. These events cover areas larger than football stadiums and often have more fans in attendance.

“The NFL’s glitches are fixable,” adds Cook. “Earlier this year, the TOURtech team created the WIFI network for the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle, covering about 20 city blocks in downtown Chicago. If you want a networking challenge put a bunch of high-rise offices and residential buildings with their own networks running right in the middle of the coverage area.”

Trade shows and corporate events are also a growing market as convention centers and other indoor venues often lack ample bandwidth and the necessary on-site IT staff to handle the demands of modern conferences.

WIFI demand will continue to grow in the foreseeable future. Event production organizations, not only need to bring in outside IT support, they need to look at those providers closely and evaluate them based on their experience. Fumbling the WIFI decision can be costly both in money spent and, in the case of the NFL, games won or lost.